Blessed Coffee and members of the Brewing Change campaign team were among the more than 40 vendors at the 3rd Annual Ethiopian Festival held this past Saturday at Veterans Plaza in downtown Silver Spring.
The Festival slogan, “Celebrating diversity—promoting the joy of unity,” could be experienced everywhere at the event. Festival attendees from near and far enjoyed Ethiopian food, shopped for arts and crafts, and enjoyed the sights and sounds of Ethiopian performers.
Blessed Coffee’s tent was a popular destination. A steady rotation of volunteers sold traditional and iced coffees as well as Blessed Coffee gift cards. Seats were always filled for the coffee ceremonies that were held throughout the day.
Brewing Change campaign team members were at the event, in force. They staffed a Brewing Change tent that was set up café style to promote conversation. Team members answered questions about Blessed Coffee and the campaign. They also managed to make time to sell specially designed “Ethiopia” t-shirts.
Of course, there were many people from the Ethiopian diaspora at the Festival. But, downtown Silver Spring really embraced the event as well. Many local leaders as well as individuals and families from the surrounding neighborhoods also came out to enjoy the culture and diversity.
Perhaps Dana Beyer of Progressive Neighbors Montgomery summed up the significance of the event best: “This Festival represents what Silver Spring and Montgomery County have now become—people from all over the world are coming here and our community is being enriched by it. . . . Blessed Coffee and this Festival are part of the new way forward for a progressive economy.”